Ole Kirk Christiansen was an ordinary man, living an ordinary life, working an ordinary job as a carpenter. That is, until The Great Depression hit. Christiansen lost his comfortably ordinary job and needed desperately to figure out a way to make ends meet for his four children. After seeing the way they reacted to wooden toy ducks he’d made for them one day, Christiansen decided to go into business as a toymaker. And so was born the LEGO Group (LEGO is a combination of the Danish phrase “leg godt,” which means, “play well”). The little plastic blocks we’ve come to know and love as LEGO bricks weren’t invented until the late 1940s, but the company’s outlook has always been the same.

Over the years, people have used those magical little blocks to build some truly exceptional things that absolutely blow us away. We wanted to put our favorites all in one place, so here you have it. Here are the 9 Most Incredible LEGO Builds of All Time:


The U.S.S. Intrepid

This 22-foot, 550-pound build of the U.S.S. Intrepid, built by artist Ed Diment, utilizes a mind-boggling 250 thousand individual LEGO bricks, and took about a year to construct. The 1:24 scale replica is the length of three Queen-sized mattresses, and comes complete with everything from Wildcat and Corsair fighter planes,  to workers, mechanics, and yes, pilots. Link


A Life-Sized Car With a 256-Cylinder Air-Powered Engine

What’s better than a LEGO replica? A real functioning machine! This fully functioning car, built entirely from LEGO bricks, features a 256-cylinder motor powered solely by compressed air. The project, designed by Steve Sammartino out of Melbourne, Australia, and built by 20-year-old Romanian Raul Oaida, took over $22,000 to fund and includes over half a million LEGO bricks. The set up, which took nearly two years to complete, can hold one driver and a passenger, and will top out anywhere from 12 to 19 MPH. Link


An Actual Lego House

Apparently, when James May isn’t rolling through the desert on custom-made dune buggies with his pals Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond on Amazon’s The Grand Tour, he likes to build massive LEGO houses on English vineyard estates. Before it was unfortunately knocked down in 2009 (ugh!), the massive two-story structure stood 20 feet fall and used over 3 million LEGO bricks. The house, built by roughly 1,000 volunteers, featured modern amenities like hot showers and flushing toilets, as well as LEGO bedrooms with LEGO sheets and LEGO slippers, a LEGO kitchen filled with LEGO appliances, and even a household pet LEGO cat. The amount of detail put into this endeavor was truly stunning, and it’s a damn shame it had to be torn down. Link


The Coolest Boardroom Table Ever

When the team at ABGC, an architectural design firm out of Dublin, was contracted to do a remodel for an up-and-coming agency in town, they recommended a lot of things for the firm’s new offices. One of them was this incredibly beautiful four-foot-by-nine-foot boardroom table. The table took over 22,740 LEGO bricks to complete, and was constructed through standard means and included zero glue or any other “cheats.” The best part is that it was built by the ABGC team themselves, and not contractors or master builders. The client’s brief begged for “playful but not juvenile,” and this table hits the nail right on the head. Link


The U.S.S. Missouri

We knew walking into this piece that listing two battleships might turn some heads, but out of the literal hundreds of projects we viewed while compiling this list, this to-scale LEGO construction of the U.S.S. Missouri, one of the most important U.S. Naval ships in the Pacific Theater of WWII, is an absolute masterpiece—no ifs, ands, or buts. Aside from its incredible size (24 feet at 1:40 scale), the ship was constructed in baffling detail, complete with a motorized stern crane, turrets, outposts, canons, flags, staff, escape vessels, planes, and everything you’d actually see on the actual U.S.S. Missouri. It’s a truly remarkable feat and a wonderful tribute to such a historic war machine. Link


A Life-Size Version of the Batmobile

On one end of the spectrum, we’re rolling our eyes at Chevrolet’s and Warner Bros’ attempt at viral marketing. On the other, we’re rolling our eyes at ourselves because IT TOTALLY WORKED THIS THING IS SO DAMN COOL! The folks from Chevy built it in partnership with students from the Cody Rouge community in Detroit, and the detail is absolutely incredible. The 17-foot “Speedwagon” took over 34,000 LEGO bricks to piece together and was unveiled at the North American International Auto Show a couple of months back. It’s constructed of 100% LEGO, and is 100% not for sale, which means we’re 100% bummed about it. Link


This Incredibly Beautiful… Well, Whatever This is

If you weren’t already aware, allow us to open your eyes to an entire genre of sculpture created by very serious and talented artists who work exclusively with LEGO blocks. This incredibly intricate and elaborate sculpture, made by famed LEGO sculptor Mike Doyle, is called Millennial Celebration of the Eternal Choir at K’al Yne, Odan. It comprises over 200,000 individual LEGO pieces and took Doyle over 600 hours to actually complete. The eerily futuristic theme features UFOs and high-towered castles that fade down into a greener, livelier base. The concept, according to Doyle, was that he wanted to demonstrate the idea that all advanced technology was bottlenecked into a singular spiritual story. We don’t know what drugs Doyle was taking when he put this shit together, but man is it beautiful. Link


A Futuristic Japan

Another abstract-ish LEGO sculpture, but of even far more epic proportions, involved over 1.8 million—yes, million—LEGO blocks, and was pieced together by 5,000 Japanese students. The goal was to create a futuristic typographical map of Japan, and was sponsored by LEGO to inspire change and growth in a country deeply affected by the disastrous 2011 Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami that had ravaged the country the year prior. The massive and incredibly detailed project spans 82 feet and features some of the most inspiringly detailed architecture we’ve ever seen—LEGO or otherwise. Link


A Life-Size VOLVO XC90

We could think of at least a dozen automobiles we’d like to see LEGO-fied, and unfortunately, the Volvo XC90, albeit a beautiful luxury crossover, just isn’t one of them. Nevertheless, for whatever reason, it did get the LEGO makeover, and it was superbly well done. The car itself came as the result of a partnership with LEGO and Volvo, and was built using more than 200,000 individual bricks. All told, it weighs over a ton. Despite its immaculate detail—down to the unique rear brake light bezels for which the XC90 is known—the car isn’t drivable (the doors don’t even open), and the only non-LEGO aspects of it are its tires. Link

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Unzip your coat and have some mulled wine on the house—you’ve arrived at your final gifting destination: The Holiday Gift Guide. It’s like your friendly neighborhood one-stop holiday shop, except instead of balsa wood ornaments, ours is packed with thoughtful gifts for everyone on your list. Future heirlooms, small-but-significant stocking stuffers, and gear for getting out there (or staying in)—are all right here. There’s no music playing in the background though, so you’ll just have to hum Bing Crosby while you click around instead.

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